Back to articles Clutter's Clever Disguises by Organizing Lives

Categories: Organizing

Clutter is sneaky, in that it disguises itself in many forms. Here are some surprising places clutter may be sneakily hiding out in your home:

1. Things in need of repair. You know that pile in the garage, and the one on the bed in the guest bedroom...

2. Unfinished creative projects, such as remnants of your "knitting phase". Tools, easels, supplies, along with peripheral books and manuals. Also, workout gear from some fitness craze you won't be revisiting. It's okay to admit your interests change over time. Someone else might be in their prime on that type of project right now.

3. Too much furniture in a room.

4. Lots of small pieces of furniture around the house, like accent tables and curio-cases.

5. Too many collections or souvenirs. Curate and edit down, keeping only your absolute favourites. How do you know? It's the ones that make you smile from the inside. That is something truly special -- and no, not every single knick-knack you own makes you smile from the inside. Remember, the memories don't live inside those objects, they live inside you.

6. Too many drinking glasses, wine glasses, or plastic sippy cups, especially if you have non-matching tops and bottoms.

7. Too many dishes. This goes for everyday dishes as well as those for special occasions.

8. Too much stuff on your fridge, from magnets to photos to papers to kids' artwork.

9. Mismatched, stained or orphaned bedding. Also, any bedding in sizes that no longer match the sizes of the beds you currently own.

10. Samples of anything you received that you wouldn't normally use. Cleaning products, makeup, skincare products. This includes avoiding bringing home tiny bottles from your hotel stays, unless you plan on donating them to a shelter.

11. Overcrowded walls - too many photos, decorations, even wall hooks if they're always buried in stuff.

12. Winter gear. We're all for bundling up in wintertime, but beware of your scarf collection reaching the double digits, every possible variation on mitts and gloves (dressy, extra-warm, fuzzy, light, black, wooly, leather, colourful, and on it goes). Also hats and toques which, it seems, are yours for life once you purchase them or receive them as gifts. Coats seem to multiply as soon as you close the closet door. Face it, you always reach for the same ones. Let go of the rest.

13. Singles that need to be a pair. Socks. Mitts. Shoes. Flip flops. Earrings.

. Anything unsolicited you get in the mail, such as junk mail and flyers.

15. Magazines: New ones you're no longer excited to receive. Old ones you've been hanging onto. Others you never asked for but receive anyway.

16. Toys, clothing and gear your kids have outgrown. If your kids are now teens, and the blowup pool is still in the garage, it's time to get real.

. Cleaning products you will never use to clean your home.

18. Pet supplies you'll never use, especially if you no longer own a pet, and have no intention of doing so again. Unopened food or kitty litter can be donated to your local shelter.

19. Greeting cards. Lots of people hang onto handwritten cards and notes for sentimental reasons.? But we believe that you can part with cards you received on any occasion where the person just signed their name.

20. The medicine cabinet: guaranteed, there is expired medicine in there at this very moment.

21. Outdated electronics, and all the wires, plugs, chargers and gadgets they rode in on.

22. Your boxes of photos. One day, when you're cleaning out your piles of photos, promise us this: you'll acknowledge that not every printed photograph is a masterpiece that must be kept for eternity. In fact, we'd wager that probably 20% or less are worthy of being placed in an album or memory box of some kind, or digitized, if you're that proactive!

. Your bookshelf. Some people hoard books and really show them off, hoping it would somehow make them appear more intelligent to those who noticed that they owned books on all these different areas of knowledge. They don't notice by the way. Only own books on topics that interest you right now, and are your absolute favourites for re-reading.

. Tupperware and plastic containers. Unless you feed a family of 16 or more, you do not need over 100 pieces of plastic food storage, especially if the tops and bottoms don't match.

25. The inside of your computer. Clutter exists digitally too. From outdated apps and obsolete file drafts, to archival items that just do not need to reside on your main computer, make some room and give it a longer life. Oh, and you can clean up your desktop while you're at it.

. Unpacked boxes. Enough said.

Kim and Sandra

~ Kim and Sandra

Copyright 2015 Organizing Lives. All rights are reserved and no part of this article may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means unless expressly stated otherwise, or except with the written permission of Organizing Lives. Enquires should be directed to The information provided in this newsletter is for reference and education only. Although we try to ensure the information is as current and accurate as possible, errors do occasionally occur. Organizing Lives assumes no responsibility or liability arising from any error in or omission of information or from the use of any information or advice contained within this newsletter.

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